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How to Support Online Shoppers in Every Language With Customer Service
Stay on top of the latest e-commerce and marketplace trends.
Global cross-border e-commerce sales are expected to spike up to $1.18 trillion in 2021. Amazon’s VP of International Marketplaces and Retail Eric Broussard stated that over a quarter of the global revenue generated by sellers on Amazon in 2017 came from cross-border sales.
Both of these impressive statistics illustrate that more and more sellers are beginning to see the value in diversifying their Amazon business overseas. Results from Feedvisor’s State of the Amazon Marketplace 2018 report revealed that nearly 37% of surveyed merchants are currently selling outside of the U.S. and an additional 26% have plans to expand outside of the U.S. in 2018.
When sellers have fortified their local presence and decide to expand their business abroad and increase visibility and conversions, one key element of this process is multilingual customer support if they are utilizing FBM or SFP to fulfill their orders. With maintaining a customer-first strategy and healthy feedback metrics at the forefront of measuring performance on Amazon, sellers need to be able to support online shoppers in the local languages of the countries that they are selling in in order to provide incredible customer service. Varying time zones and cultural norms are things to take into consideration when establishing an international, multilingual customer support strategy. Localize your customer service hours, especially if you’re offering phone customer service or live chat. This means that you should ensure that open hours aren’t only available at night in the buyers’ time zone.
Customer Care and Feedback
A bulk amount of customer service revolves around replying to emails. However, it’s important to note that your customer service team not only has to be able to understand buyers’ messages in different languages, but needs to be able to reply to them as well and in a timely manner (typically 24 hours).
Another important aspect of e-commerce customer service is monitoring your customer feedback and checking in on your performance notifications. If your order defect rate is higher than 1%, your account is at risk to be suspended by Amazon. Therefore, ensure you always keep a positive feedback rate by managing open cases and claims in a professional, approachable way.
If you have a significant presence in a particular international market, you may want to look into an in-country support staff of native speakers in order to avoid language barriers in customer service. Although hiring and training representatives requires investment, it may not be feasible for smaller teams that are just entering a new market. A low-cost, low-risk option that may work in this scenario is translation integration with your ticketing system.
These decisions are certainly not one-size-fits-all. They should be informed by an in-depth review of your existing customer base and target markets that you are breaking in to or have plans to expand to in the future. Additionally, it is also crucial to ensure that customer support pages are localized and assets like guidelines, how-tos, and FAQ pages (covering anything from product uses to return policies) are available in all supported languages. This way, customers have a way to help themselves before reaching out to your customer service team. If your business has the means, building out a multilingual customer service team will definitely be beneficial in the long run as your business continues to expand.
More than anything, it will be important to personalize your messages to the customer as much as possible and be clear and concise in the delivery. Although English is widely spoken worldwide and one of the most dominant languages used online, regional phrases don’t always translate word for word. Ask questions to get to the bottom of the issue at hand and show interest in the customer’s needs — typically, showing this level of engagement will instill customer loyalty and will incite them to come back for repeat business.
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